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Junior In Reserves XI

Midfielder starts against Sunderland this evening.

Junior In Reserves XI

Francisco Junior will be handed another chance to impress as Everton's reserve side take on Sunderland this evening.

The former Benfica midfielder joined the Blues on a free transfer last month and is included in Alan Stubbs' 16-man squad for the game in the north east.

It will be the 20-year old's third appearance for the second string after he played all 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Bolton and came off the bench in the goalless mini derby at Goodison last week.

Conor McAleny is also named in the side for the 7pm kick-off, as are midfielder Ross Barkley and Greek forward Apostolos Vellios, who has seven goals from six reserve appearances this season.

Stubbs' side are currently in great form. Those two recent draws came off the back of three comprehensive league victories and their unbeaten run stretches back to an early November defeat at home to Wigan.

Sunderland are also on a fine streak of their own - unbeaten in eight free-scoring games.

The two sides met in October and the Blues ran out 2-0 winners at Finch Farm. An own goal from Liam Marrs and a strike from substitute McAleny, both in the final 10 minutes of the game, gave the hosts all three points.

Look out on evertonfc.com later to find out how the second string fare.

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